PERUVIAN PISCO

PERUVIAN PISCO IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE PERUVIAN LIFESTYLE

For Peruvians, their Pisco is the elixir of life. They take great pride in their Peruvian Pisco - their national spirit - and enjoy their Pisco as a Pisco Sour on numerous occasions. To honor their Peruvian Pisco and the famous cocktail Pisco Sour, two official holidays have been established by ministerial decrees. These public holidays are celebrated extensively and are a joyous occasion for Peruvians. Big parties and a lot of Pisco drinks can be found everyhwere on these days. The day of the Peruvian Pisco - "el dia del pisco"  takes place on the 4th Sunday of each July, whereas the first Saturday of each February is the official Peruvian Pisco Sour Day - "el dia del pisco sour".

PERUVIAN GOVERNMENT STRICTLY REGULATES THE QUALITY OF PERUVIAN PISCO

The Peruvian government introduced new legislations to defend and preserve the high quality of Peruvian Pisco, as there was a strong national pride and identification toward the national spirit of Peru. Since the introduction of the legislation producers of Peruvian Pisco must adhere to these strict rules. This is to ensure that mass production of Pisco is avoided and that Peruvian Pisco can differentiate itself from Chilean Pisco, the latter being mass produced.

In 1991, the government of Peru first issued a "Supreme Decree". This degree regulates quality related aspects of the Pisco production. A technical norm for the production of Peruvian Pisco was set, which guarantees, that Peruvian Pisco is subject to the highest standards of quality and purity.

PERUVIAN PISCO MUST BE PRODUCED ACCORDING TO TRADITIONAL, SMALL-BATCH METHODS

The latest update to this technical norm was made in 2006. All the Piscos produced in Peru must adhere to this regulation. The norm clarifies that Peruvian Pisco must be distilled from the freshly fermented juice of the Pisco grapes. Therefore, Peruvian Pisco has nothing to do with pomace, contrary to popular belief. Pomace is must that includes the left over residual parts after extracting the juice from the grapes (e.g. for wine production), such as the bitter seeds of the grape.

Moreover, the norm requires Peruvian Pisco to be produced according to traditional, small-batch distillation methods of high quality spirit production, clearly differentiating itself from the industrial methods used for Chilean Pisco. This is shown very clearly on page 16 of the technical norm, where accurate drawings of the permitted distillation pot stills are illustrated.

PERUVIAN PISCO IS CATEGORIZED IN THREE DIFFERENT TYPES

The following three Pisco types are officially categorized in Peru:
    • PISCO PURO - a Peruvian Pisco produced from one single grape variety. Example: Pisco Barsol Primero Quebranta.
    • PISCO ACHOLADO - a blend of different Pisco grape varieties. The blend may be done either before fermentation, before distillation or after distillation. Example: Pisco Barsol Selecto Acholado
    • PISCO MOSTO VERDE - a Peruvian Pisco distilled from must that has not been completely fermented. A certain sweetness remains in the must, as only part of the sugar has been transformed into alcohol. Example: Pisco Barsol Supremo Mosto Verde Italia

ONLY EIGHT GRAPE VARIETIES ARE PERMITTED FOR THE PRODUCTION OF PERUVIAN PISCO

The Peruvian Pisco legislation explicitly defines which grape varieties are permitted for the production. Only 8 different types of grapes are allowed. This selectivity ensures a distinct taste of Peruvian Pisco and consistently maintains a high quality. The allowed grape varieties are separated into aromatic and non-aromatic grapes, as follows:
 
Non-aromaticAromatic
1. Quebranta 1. Italia
2. Negra Criolla 2. Torontel
3. Mollar 3. Moscatel
4. Uvina 4. Albilla
 

The grapes are pressed for the juice and the fresh must is then fermented. The distillation of the must has to follow immediately after. 

The classification "non-aromatic" should not be taken too literally, as even Pisco distilled from non-aromatic Quebranta grapes have a nice fruity grape flavor. Yet, the aroma of the aromatic grapes is a lot stronger (e.g. Italia) and the taste depending on the grape variety may be more flavourful or distinctive (e.g. Torontel).  

PERUVIAN PISCO CAN ONLY BE PRODUCED IN TRADITIONAL BATCH DISTILLATION

The regulation states that Pisco production must follow traditional distillation methods of high quality spirits. Therefore, Peruvian Pisco may only be distilled directly and discontinuously (in batches). The head and the tail of each distillation must be separated and only the heart of each distillation batch may be used for Peruvian Pisco. The pot stills used during the distillation of Peruvian Pisco can only be made of copper or tin (pewter). 

PERUVIAN PISCO IS SUBJECT TO A STRICT PURITY LAW

Peruvian Pisco must rest for at least 3 months after distillation. To maintain the authentic taste of the high-grade Pisco grapes, only storage vessels that do not influence the aroma of the stored content may be used. Such vessels can be made of steel or glass, but not of wood.

Adding additional ingredients to the distilled Peruvian Pisco is strictly prohibited. That is why there is no possibility to alter the taste of the Pisco after it has been distilled. Neither sugar nor other flavours may be added. That is why the quality of the used grapes and the Bodega's experience in the production of Pisco both determine with significant and direct effect the taste of the bottled Pisco. 

Peruvian Pisco is bottled at cask strength, because even adding water after distillation is prohibited under the purity law. The alcohol content of Pisco must lie between 38% vol. and 48% vol. The exact alcohol content can vary, as there are many different influences, such as sugar content of the grapes, temperature, atmospheric pressure and so forth, that can have an impact on the alcohol content.  

PISCO BARSOL IS AN EXCELLENT PERUVIAN PISCO

In summary, Peruvian Pisco is a grape brandy strongly emphasizing the maintenance of traditional production methods to ensure a high-quality spirit with an authentic grape taste.

The Peruvian brand "BARSOL Pisco" is known for its exceptionally high quality standards, which are guaranteed by using only the best grapes from the Ica-Valley and combining them with Bodega San Isidro's many years of experience in the production of Pisco. The result is several Piscos of outstanding quality, some of which have been internationally recognized and awarded. Read more on the next page about the extraordinary quality and taste of Pisco BARSOL.

 

 

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